November 14, 2012 01:46:59 GMT
The actor who voices the furry red monster of 'Sesame Street' is 'relieved' after his accuser admits their relationship was consensual and between two adults.
Underage sexual relationship allegation against Kevin Clash, the voice of "Sesame Street" Elmo, has been dropped by the accuser. "I am relieved that this painful allegation has been put to rest. I will not discuss it further," the puppeteer says in a statement.
The accuser, a 23-year-old unidentified man, initially claimed he had a sexual relationship with Kevin starting when he was just 16 years old and the voice actor was 45, but the guy has now recanted his story. He says the relationship was between two consenting adults.
"This office represented the 23-year-old man who was the subject of many media reports regarding Kevin Clash," his attorney states. "He wants it to be known that his sexual relationship with Mr. Clash was an adult consensual relationship. He will have no further comment on the matter."
Sesame Workshop quickly follows with a statement of its own. "We are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close, and we are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode," the company utters after the case is settled.
It's unclear as to why the accuser suddenly changed his tune, but TMZ reports that the case is settled in a financial settlement with 6-figures on the table.
The accuser reportedly first contacted Sesame Workshop about the alleged underage conduct in June. The company producing the popular children show has since launched investigation into the matter by having a meeting with the man several times.
Sesame Workshop was accused of trying to silent the alleged victim, but the company insisted they simply asked him to provide evidence to support his allegation. The allegation was later determined as unsubstantiated.
The case was revealed when Kevin said on Monday he would take a break from Sesame Workshop. "Kevin insists that these allegations are false and defamatory and he has taken actions to protect his reputation. We have granted him a leave of absence to do so," executives of the company said.
Although the issue has been resolved, it's unclear when Kevin who has voiced Elmo since 1984 will return as the furry red monster on the children show.